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ORGANIZING BEYOND BARRIERS: Organizing or Research Internships and Training

Organizing Beyond Barriers (OBB) is UNITE HERE’s nationally coordinated program to build a progressive alliance of workers and students by teaching, agitating, and inspiring people to fight for justice.

We place a lot of emphasis on training and fieldwork. People learn by doing, whether it’s hearing about the real situations of working people in a house visit, speaking truth to power in a delegation or recruiting friends, family, or coworkers to an action. Our Union is committed to inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to join our movement.

Students and workers across the United States and Canada came together for eight weeks in the summer to learn how to organize, push forward the union’s campaigns and find inspiration in people who are willing to take up the struggle for social justice.

The OBB program strives to link up the workers’ rights movement with the student movement, the LGBTQ movement, the immigrants’ rights movement and all other movements that struggle and work for social justice. We look forward to getting to know and be inspired by you.

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32 BJ, Senior Regional Communications Specialist: NEW YORK

32BJ SEIU, the largest property service union in the country, is seeking an aggressive, nimble and creative Senior Regional Communications Specialist to help develop and drive a comprehensive and strategic communications program centered on 32BJ’s new organizing campaigns in the New York City region, among other responsibilities.  The communications program includes media relations, social media and member communications for organizing drives, contract fights and legislative and political campaigns.

The Senior Regional Communications Specialist will be a key member of the union’s communications team, responsible for communications for breakthrough organizing campaigns in New York City. Currently, 32BJ is focused on winning justice for airport workers, growing our security division, and is participating in the national campaign to organize fast food workers. Additional capacity to support the specialist’s work will be added by union-wide New Media and Member Communications Strategists.

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In Solidarity: Working-Class Organization and Strategy in the United States

Featuring Kim Moody
Friday, May 2, 2014 – 7:00pm

The New School, room 404
66 West 12 St
New York, NY 10011
See map: Google Maps

Haymarket Books and Jacobin Magazine are hosting a labor panel featuring Labor Notes founder Kim Moody, “one of the leading intellectuals of the labor movement” according to Robin Kelley, as well as working class activists in the fields of education and low-wage-work.

The panelists will sketch a picture of the state of US labor today. They will draw out the challenges facing labor, from neoliberal restructuring to overcoming racism and sexism. And perhaps most importantly, they will point the way forward for a rank-and-file union movement that can win real change.

Speakers at this event:
Virgilio Oscar Aran (Laundry Workers Center)
Emily Giles (MORE)*
Sarah Jaffe, moderator
Kim Moody
Tim Sylvester (Teamsters Local 804, President)

*Affiliations for identification purposes only

The event will also celebrate the release of Kim Moody’s new book of essays, In Solidarity: Essays on Working-Class Organization and Strategy in the United States. In his latest work, Moody takes up many of the important questions facing labor today:

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March with the PSC on May Day—Thurs., May 1

Demand $5K for CUNY’s Low-Wage Workers

Demand Fair Contracts, Fair Wages and Job Security for All Working People

Adjuncts, full timers, faculty, and staff—we need your presence and your indomitable spirit at the May Day march and rally, Thurs., May 1, 5:00 p.m., starting at City Hall. As part of a national mobilization, academic unions like the PSC and UUP, are demanding a minimum starting salary of $5,000 per course for adjuncts. May Day, the international workers’ day of action, is the perfect time to make the $5K demand visible in our city and link the struggle of college adjuncts to that of New York’s other low-wage workers. It’s also a day to stand with our partners in the city labor movement who, like us, are working without a contract, and with immigration activists who, like us, are fighting for the NYS Dream Act and a better life for the next generation of New Yorkers.

Plan to meet your PSC friends and colleagues at 4:30 p.m. at the southwest corner of Broadway and Chambers St. Download the May Day $5K flier and the general May Day flier.  RSVP and More Info. 

Workforce Development Helping to Bridge the Gap

Eve Baron is the Acting Associate Director for Worker Education and the Academic Program Manager, Urban Studies

In addition to early childhood development programs, building the income-earning capacity of our urban workforce is a critical part of building a more equitable society. Workforce development programs—those that are designed to update and sharpen existing skills, or to develop new skills that respond to specific sectoral needs—are at the forefront of city, state, and now federal policy. President Obama sees these programs as a central part of his economic development policy, arguing that skills and credentials are increasingly critical for the American workforce, and that “jobs requiring at least an associate degree are projected to grow twice as fast as jobs requiring no college experience.” (www.whitehouse.gov, accessed April 29, 2014) The quality and quantity of those jobs notwithstanding, the fear is that if businesses cannot find skilled American workers, they will relocate.

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Faculty of the World, Unite?

Penny Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Labor Studies at The Murphy Institute

Years of organizing, agitating, occupying and strategizing have brought the issue of low wage and precarious work to the forefront of contemporary economic discussion.  Fast food and retail are not the only sectors where such low wage work has become the norm:  higher education is increasingly structured along the same logic.  One of the central slogans taken up by students and professors at today’s May Day march and rally is “May Day $5K” – a call for a minimum payment of $5,000 per college class taught by part-time and contingent faculty.  This demand is being made alongside calls for job security, health benefits, and other improved working conditions for the contingent instructional staff that now comprises 75 percent of all college faculty members.  Shamefully, CUNY pays adjuncts closer to $3,000 per class, and it’s not an outlier.

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